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Int J Behav Med. 2016 Apr;23(2):224-33. doi: 10.1007/s12529-015-9513-z.

Associations of Dispositional Mindfulness with Obesity and Central Adiposity: the New England Family Study.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, Brown University School of Public Health, 121 South Main St., Providence, RI, 02912, USA. eric.loucks@brown.edu.
2
Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI, USA.
3
Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI, USA.
4
Department of Epidemiology, Brown University School of Public Health, 121 South Main St., Providence, RI, 02912, USA.
5
Department of Biostatistics, Brown University School of Public Health, Providence, RI, USA.
6
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
7
Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Boston, MA, USA.
8
Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA, USA.
9
Department of Family Medicine, Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School, Providence, RI, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To evaluate whether dispositional mindfulness (defined as the ability to attend nonjudgmentally to one's own physical and mental processes) is associated with obesity and central adiposity.

METHODS:

Study participants (n = 394) were from the New England Family Study, a prospective birth cohort, with median age 47 years. Dispositional mindfulness was assessed using the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS). Central adiposity was assessed using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) scans with primary outcomes android fat mass and android/gynoid ratio. Obesity was defined as body mass index ≥30 kg/m(2).

RESULTS:

Multivariable-adjusted regression analyses demonstrated that participants with low vs. high MAAS scores were more likely to be obese (prevalence ratio for obesity = 1.34 (95 % confidence limit (CL): 1.02, 1.77)), adjusted for age, gender, race/ethnicity, birth weight, childhood socioeconomic status, and childhood intelligence. Furthermore, participants with low vs. high MAAS level had a 448 (95 % CL 39, 857) g higher android fat mass and a 0.056 (95 % CL 0.003, 0.110) greater android/gynoid fat mass ratio. Prospective analyses demonstrated that participants who were not obese in childhood and became obese in adulthood (n = 154) had -0.21 (95 % CL -0.41, -0.01; p = 0.04) lower MAAS scores than participants who were not obese in childhood or adulthood (n = 203).

CONCLUSIONS:

Dispositional mindfulness may be inversely associated with obesity and adiposity. Replication studies are needed to adequately establish whether low dispositional mindfulness is a risk factor for obesity and adiposity.

KEYWORDS:

Adiposity; Epidemiology; Mindfulness; Obesity; Prevention

PMID:
26481650
PMCID:
PMC4965799
DOI:
10.1007/s12529-015-9513-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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